This article will discuss the ultimate stick fight and the difference between fighting with sticks and fighting with swords, as well as how one method works better or worse in certain conditions.
Ultimate Stick Fight Using Sword and Stick
Although you are highly unlikely to encounter a sword or stick fight along the street, sword and stick training provides you with the basis to use nearly any non-projectile weapons in self-defence. It is mainly transferable to weaponless fighting and will show you real lessons you can employ in other fields of self-defence.
It is also perfect for enjoyment and exercise. The sword and stick training and techniques in FSD are a combination of different styles and based according to our four-step matrix.
Difference between Stick and Sword Training in Ultimate Stick Fight
Training in sword and stick is different but very similar as well. These weapons are of the same length, as well as of the same attack angles, defences, and entries that work to a considerable degree. On the other hand, there are several substantial differences.
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Far less muscle is needed to do damage using a sword, and while an attack on the arm could not have effects with a stick, the same can't be said using a sword! Furthermore, it is unwise to block directly using a sword, since the edge could be damaged.
A sword needs to slash while a stick has to hit. You may thrust using a stick, but it will not have the same result as thrusting with a sword.
The training methods and principles listed in this article work for both sword and stick, but specific methods work worse and better depending on the weapon used. The same can go for heavy versus light sticks. A very heavy baseball bat or two-handed cane can be utilized to strike and block in many ways that a lighter, thinner stick cannot.
Experiment with various weapons (weight, length, and type) during training, and be aware of their differences.
The basic stick work involves fundamental footwork and angles of attack. After the trainee learns the basic 12 angles, we proceed to execute them with the following footwork:
- Angles 1-12
- With Defense
- With Footwork
- With Guiding and Controlling
Hand Sparring in Ultimate Stick Fight
Once a trainee learns the underlying footwork and attacks, we start with hand sparring or with padded sticks. This training demonstrates the “kawayan” or bambooing (striking or defending only at the same time as the opponent moves) early on and slowly familiarizes them to stick fighting and prepare them for the ultimate stick fight.
For contact weapons, a four-step matrix is adopted. The matrix consists of types of attacks (thrusting, swinging, half, full, etc.), angles of attack, footwork patterns, covered entries and covered exits.
In application, it makes up safe entry, either intercepting your attack or attacking the opponent, follow-ups preventing you from getting hit while defeating your opponent, as well as safe exits.
Random Flows and Sparring
Most of the abovementioned training focuses on practice patterns and prearranged drills for repetition in the training's isolation phase. They are good to build power, speed, perfect the physical techniques of the trainee, as well as to learn vital concepts.
But actually, you aren't going to be aware of what your adversary is going to do as well as how he or she is going to react to your advances. Actual fighting consists of the unknown and an enormous dose of chaos. The two methods are used to prepare for the real fight: sparring and flow.
Random flow training is not sparring since you aren't fighting each other. There is a degree of cooperation since the aim is to aid each other to learn. You do not know what your sparring partner is going to do, and in the same way, he or she does not know what you are going to do.
However, you are doing it according to what you are both at ease with, and there's a mutual system. The training can include an emphasis on specific features of fighting, where trainees decide to work on different entries, a combination of counter-attacks, and all that. Here are some ways this can be done:
- A attacks; B counters
- A attacks; B defends
- A attacks; B counters; and then A counters the counter
Sparring in Ultimate Stick Fight
In sparring, you are fighting each other. You are not attempting to help your sparring partner to learn directly, but to succeed. In sparring, this is where chaos comes in, also where you'll know to handle hard pressure from an entirely uncooperative opponent.
To avoid injury in sword or stick sparring, training weapons, and protective gear must be utilized, or sparring should be low intensity.
Other Training Techniques
For many years, sombrada has been taught as a training exercise. If done appropriately and utilized as an isolation drill in training follow-ups and attacking entries, it will regain its value, but now, isolating variations of the four-step matrix will offer results that are even better with various live options.
Students tend to put an excessive value on the drill and do it in the wrong way. If you are going to study sombrada, be sure to watch our video on how to do it properly.
You can find more information on sombrada at functionalselfdefense.org
Ultimate Stick Fighting Double Stick Training
The double stick is not something I teach or train much, however for those folks that are keen, here's a page showing double stick using the four-step matrix.